By Shawn Lealos
Even before they play their Week 16 game, the Dallas Cowboys have clinched the NFC East and a first-round bye thanks to the New York Giants losing on Thursday night. The Cowboys are also the No. 1 seed in the NFC, so they have nothing left to play for in their final two games outside of keeping their momentum high. As a result, there is a strong chance that they rest injured stars and head into the postseason healthy. Here is a look at the Dallas Cowboys injury report for their big Monday Night Football game against the Detroit Lions.
Cowboys Missing Three Starters Against Lions
The Dallas Cowboys had three starters not practicing this week in defensive end Tyrone Crawford, left tackle Tyron Smith, and defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence. The only one listed as out is Lawrence, but Dallas might work to keep the others limited if they even play at all. Tyron Smith should start and the Cowboys will want him to protect Dak Prescott, but if the Cowboys pull Prescott from the game for his health, Smith might depart the game as well.
DeMarcus Lawrence won’t play and Tyrone Crawford might sit out as well. Also missing this week is cornerback Morris Claiborne, who is still out with a groin injury. In the linebacker corps, Justin Durant is out and Sean Lee is questionable, although he should start on Monday night.
Randy Gregory Back From Suspension
While the Dallas Cowboys will probably be without two pass rushers in DeMarcus Lawrence and Tyrone Crawford, they will finally get Randy Gregory back from suspension. When Dallas drafted Gregory, they were taking a chance on a player who was suffering from anxiety and depression issues and already had run afoul of the NCAA when it comes to drug suspensions. Since joining the Cowboys, Gregory received a four-game suspension for breaking the NFL drug policy after his rookie year and had it extended to 10 more games over the summer for another violation.
Now, Randy Gregory is back at practice and Dallas said they have every intention of taking advantage of him through the end of the season and into the playoffs. He might also be able to help Dallas rest their injured starters when he is ready to get back on the field.
Detroit Lions Injuries
While the Dallas Cowboys have clinched their spot in the playoffs and have nothing left to gain, the Detroit Lions are still fighting for their playoff position. The Lions are in an interesting spot. The Lions have to win in their final game against the Green Bay Packers to win the NFC North, and it doesn’t matter if they win or lose against Dallas. However, they still have a small chance for a first round bye, so they have at least something to play for. The Lions’ key injuries are a finger injury to Matthew Stafford, a wrist injury to Theo Riddick, and a concussion to starting center Travis Swanson. Stafford will play but the other two might miss their third straight game.
Dallas Cowboys Injury Report
- (WR) Dez Bryant (Back) — Full Participation in Practice
- (SS) Barry Church (Forearm) — Full Participation in Practice
- (DE) Jack Crawford (Foot) — Full Participation in Practice
- (G) Ronald Leary (Back) — Full Participation in Practice
- (OLB) Sean Lee (Knee) — Limited Participation in Practice
- (T) Tyron Smith (Back/Knee) — Did Not Participate In Practice
- (SS) J.J. Wilcox (Thigh) — Full Participation in Practice
- (DE) Tyrone Crawford (Foot) — Did Not Participate In Practice
- (CB) Morris Claiborne (Groin) — Did Not Participate In Practice
- (LB) Justin Durant (Elbow) — Did Not Participate In Practice
- (DE) DeMarcus Lawrence (Back) — Did Not Participate In Practice
- (DT) Cedric Thornton (Ankle) — Did Not Participate In Practice